M.A., Politics Concentration

Explore power and government the world over

Whether you intend to cover local government or international conflict, every political journalist needs a framework for understanding how politics works.

What You'll Study

M.A. students in the Politics concentration develop what every groundbreaking political journalist needs: a historical context for global political systems and institutions as well as the tools to analyze and understand stories and situations they might confront on the politics beat.

In the fall term, the seminar is organized around several themes: state formation; the rise of nationalism and ethno‐religious identity and conflict; the development of protest movements; social conflict and collective action; rights; the distribution of resources; and bargaining and negotiation. In the spring term, we go deeper into political institutions that exist almost everywhere: legislatures and bureaucracies, parties and interest groups, elections and agencies.

Recent guest lecturers have included Barnard political scientist Kimberley Johnson; Cornell behavioral economist Robert Frank; political strategist Howard Wolfson; and historian Mahmood Mamdani.

Faculty

Student Work

Bevertone Kipchumba Some's, '17 M.A., Master's Thesis about Kenya's response to al-Shabaab terrorist attacks was published in New Africa. His report concludes how innocent Kenyans have withstood the worst of the fight between the Kenyan military and al-Shabaab.

For his Master’s Project, '16 M.A., student Hassan Ghedi Santur traveled to Calais, France, over Winter Break to report on migrants in the notorious “Calais Camp.” Warscapes published his "Calais Jungle": Lives in Limbo based on that reporting, and a longer project that began with the Calais story became the e-book Maps of Exile.